5 Weeks Pregnant: What You Need to Know
Congratulations on your fifth week of pregnancy! By now, your little one is the size of a sesame seed yet growing rapidly, forming the three layers necessary to develop all organs and tissues. Read on to learn more about what to expect during this exciting time.
The Three Layers of Your Embryo
At 5 weeks pregnant, your embryo is forming three layers that will direct the growth of various organs and tissues:
Ectoderm: This top layer will sprout the “neural tube,” from which the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will emerge. Additionally, the ectoderm is responsible for skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and even tooth enamel.
Mesoderm: The middle layer oversees the growth of the heart and circulatory system, as well as muscle, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous tissue (the tissue layer directly beneath the skin, or epidermis).
Endoderm: This bottom layer directs the growth of the lungs, intestines, a path to a urinary system, and is pivotal in the development of the thyroid, liver, and pancreas.
Changes to Anticipate
During pregnancy week 5, breast sensitivity, fatigue, and excessive urination are all common symptoms. Nausea, or “morning sickness,” affects about 50% of pregnant women. It is important to make “down to Earth” changes in your lifestyle and begin new activities for you and your baby.
Avoid smoking tobacco, marijuana, and drinking alcohol during your pregnancy. Smoking increases the chances of miscarriage, placental problems, and preterm birth. Drinking alcohol increases the chances of low birth weight and risks involved with learning, speech, attention span, language, and hyperactivity.
Instead, look into beginning a new exercise routine. Walking, or swimming if you have access to a pool, are extremely beneficial. Try easy exercises like thigh shifts or leg shakes at home. Exercise serves as a proven stress reducer and a regimen to organize your days as you get closer and closer to meeting your little one.
Your Pregnancy Week 5 Tips
Your pregnancy weight gain by week 5 is typically 1 pound. On average, only 5 to 10 pounds are gained in the first trimester, and the bulk of weight gain occurs in the second and third trimesters. An overall weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds is deemed a healthy threshold.
It is now important to begin looking for a doctor to guide you through prenatal care. The first doctor appointment is usually scheduled for week 8, and important screenings for potential complications will be performed. Inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, whether prescription or over-the-counter, and inquire about a prenatal vitamin best suited for you.
Pregnancy week 5 marks the beginning of an incredible journey towards parenthood. Take care of yourself by avoiding harmful activities like smoking or drinking alcohol and by embracing healthy exercises and routines. Ensuring that you’re making healthy choices will help your body support your growing little one. Enjoy the journey towards meeting your baby – it’s one of the most magical experiences a woman can have!